Here are the major topics which have been in news recently and there is a possibility that UPSC might pose a question from any of the latest happenings.
Policy to adopt world heritage sites UNESCO, with the help of 21 member World Heritage Committee and advisory bodies such as International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), within the framework of its Operational Guidelines, decides about the cultural and natural sites to be included on the World Heritage list.
Such cultural and natural sites must display the necessary Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), fulfill one or more out of 10 prescribed criteria (as given below), maintain the condition of authenticity and integrity and should be in a good state of conservation.
There are 32 sites from India declared as World Heritage sites – 25 are cultural sites and 7 are natural sites. The Criteria for the assessment of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) as per UNESCO’s Operational
To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
To exhibit an important interchange of human values,
To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization
To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological
To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction
To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.
To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance
To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history,
To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes
To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity
Chettinadu cotton saree
The Textiles Committee, Union Ministry of Handlooms and Textiles, Mumbai, registered the Chettinad cotton saree under the India Handloom Brand Scheme after checking various quality parameters stipulated by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and offered a logo.
The Chettinad cotton saree, which inherited the intricacies of now out-of-vogue and over a century-old‘Kandangi’ pure silk sarees, has won the ‘India Handloom’ tag for its unique designs and identity.The procedure for the branding began in October last year when the weavers service centre in Chennai and the textiles committee in Madurai made a site inspection followed by inspection of looms and interaction with weavers, Mr. Palaniappan said. About 650 weavers attached to three societies in the region produced the sarees, he added.
The Nati folk dance of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in second week of January 2016 was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest folk dance in the world.
Nati entered in the book as the largest folk dance in terms of participants’ number. Total 9892 women participated in this folk dance in their traditional colourful Kulluvi on 26 October 2015 during International Dussehra festival.
The event, phrased as Pride of Kullu, was dedicated to girl child, was recorded in several cameras. KulluDussehra is a centuries-old festival and celebrations begin on VijayaDashami, the day when the festivities end in rest of the country.
The folk dance entered the Limca Book of Records in 2014 after about 8760 artists performed it at the KulluDussehra festivities.
Hyderabadi Haleem (Gi)
‘Haleem’, the delicacy during the Ramzan period in hyderabad must be called ‘Hyderabad Haleem’ after it was given geographical indication status by the Geographical Indications (GI) of Government of India in 2010. Geographical indication status is given to a product, which has uniqueness and is prepared in one region of the country.
However, it is not a patent which is given to inventions. ‘Haleem’ makers claimed that the scrumptious food is prepared through special process in the State capital since decades. The certificate does not bar anyone from preparing ‘Haleem’ but they cannot market it as Hyderabad Haleem.
The US on 7th June 2016 returned over 200 cultural artefacts estimated at $100 million to India at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister NarendraModi. Items returned included religious statues, bronzes and terra cotta pieces, some dating back 2,000 years, looted from some of India’s most treasured religious sites.
Among the pieces returned is a statue of Saint Manikkavichavakar, a Hindu mystic and poet from the Chola period (circa 850 AD to 1250 AD) stolen from the Sivan Temple in Chennai, which is valued at $1.5 million.
Also included in the collection is a bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesh estimated to be 1,000-year-old.The majority of the pieces repatriated in the ceremony were seized during Operation Hidden Idol, an investigation that began in 2007 after Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) special agents received a tip about a shipment of seven crates destined for the US manifested as “marble garden table sets”.
Prime Minister NarendraModi sits beside the statue Khajuraho, 12th century, made from red sandstone, during a ceremony marking the repatriation of over 200 artifacts to the Indian government, at Blair House in Washington, Monday, June 6, 2016. (AP).
Sajibu Cheiraoba, a traditional festival that marks New Year of theMeiteis (majority ethnic group) of Manipur, was celebrated on 8 April 2016. It was celebrated with cultural gusto and religious fervor in Manipur. It is celebrated on the first day of Sajibu month (equivalent of April) every year.On this day, people arrange a joint family feast in which traditional cuisines are offered to local deities at the entrance gates of the houses.
After meals, people start climb the Cheiraoching located in Chingmeirong or tops of nearby hills in the afternoon to offer prayers. As per belief they think that it would elevate them to greater heights in their worldly life. Later in night, ThabalChongba, a local folk dance is also being organized at different locations of Manipur valley.
The Chapchar Kut Festival is a festival of Mizoram, India.The traditional festival of Chapchar Kut of the Mizos was celebrated on the 5th of March 2016 across the north-eastern state of Mizoram and also in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring statesIt is a spring festival celebrated every year in month of March after completion of their most arduous task of Jhum operation i.e., jungle-clearing (clearing of the remnants of burning).
It is a spring festival celebrated with great fervour and gaiety. Mizos celebrate this festival by dressing in their traditional attire and dancers danced to the tune of typical music and songs. Popular Mizo dances including Cheraw, Chheihlam, Sarlamkai and Khuallam are performed by various cultural groups. ChapcharKut Festival is estimated to have started in 1450-1700 A.D. in a village called Suaipui.
ChapcharKut was discouraged when the Missionaries came to Mizoram as it was felt that it did not adhere to Christian values, however it was revived in 1973 on a mass scale sans animistic practice and Alcohol.ChapcharKut is now held annually in the Month of March. ChapcharKut is one of three annual festivals of the Mizos celebrated to mark three different stages of the agricultural cycle. The other two are MimKut and Pawl Kut, also revived in the last century.